A Glimpse Into the Future: Griff Erickson

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Gorman Charles “Griff” Erickson was drafted by the Dodgers in the 15th round of the 2006 MLB Draft out of Westview High School in San Diego, California. Griff is seen as one of the top Dodger catching prospects, and he has steadily climbed the ranks of the minor leagues since he was drafted in ’06. Gorman began to garner attention after his performance last season with the Quakes and Lookouts. The big switch-hitting catcher (6’4″ 220 lbs.) will turn 24-years old on March 11th.

Griff spent most of the 2007 and 2008 seasons with the Rookie-class Gulf Coast Dodgers. He had a line of .247/.333/.361 in 30 games with the GC Dodgers in 2008. Erickson even got a couple brief one-game promotions to AAA-Las Vegas in those two years. He went 0-5 in his second one-game cup of coffee promotion in 2008.

 In 2009, Griff played with the Ogden Raptors where he hit .305/.378/.482 and had 5 homeruns. He was selected as a Pioneer League post-season All-Star.

In 2010, Griff played with the Great Lake Loons in low-A ball where he struggled hitting only .215/.309/.310.

In 2011, with the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, he fared better hitting .305/.408/.491 with 6 homeruns in 63 games. He was selected as California League mid-season All-Atar. He continued climbing the ladder of the Dodgers’ farm system, and he was promoted to the AA Chattanooga Lookouts during the 2011 season where he hit .275 in 41 games with 7 homeruns and 26 RBI.

Erickson is a plus defensive catcher, and is disciplined at the plate.

It was a bit puzzling when Ned Colletti traded away Trayvon Robinson last season and stated that the reason was because the Dodgers needed a catcher.

” We needed catching. You can move somebody to the outfield. You can move somebody to the infield. You can move guys around the outfield, you can move guys around the infield. But you can’t move somebody behind the plate who has not been behind the plate or is not going to take a long time behind the plate. And we were in a tough spot and needed catching and feel we got a good one with (Tim) Federowicz.”

The thing is we did have Gorman Erickson in the pipeline, and he seems to me to be a more offensively charged batter than FedEx will be. It almost seemed as if Colletti was desperate for catching depth, and we did eventually let go the useless Dioner Navarro. Rod Barajas also wasn’t resigned, and he joined the Pirates this offseason. So perhaps Colletti was preparing for the departure of these two catchers, and with the thin catching situation throughout baseball, it was a move to add depth to the system for that position. The Dodgers also signed veteran Josh Bard to back-up FedEx in Albuquerque.

2012 will be an important season for Gorman Erickson. He will need to perform at the higher levels of the minors, and we will be watching to see if he is able to maintain the numbers he ahcieved last season or if he will regress. I won’t be surprised if we see Griff come up for some time before the season is out in September. If FedEx is promoted to the big club, Griff would likely move up to AAA. He is not currently on the 40-man roster, but was invited to Spring Training as a non-roster player.

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